Horrible Night at Cheer last night.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Duckie's cheer squad is made up of girls aged 6-8 (grade 1 - 3); there on 30 on the squad. It's a big squad but there are three coaches, 5 team moms and the cheer coordinator spends a lot of time with us since her only daughter is on the squad.

    So they have a competition coming up next month and some of the girls just aren't getting the too complicated (in my opinion) competition cheer and dance. So what does one of the coaches do? She insists on keeping at it... over and over again until SHE is so frustrated that she throws her papers on the ground and announces "I quit". Some of the girls were struggling were doing their best and the other girls, frankly, were bored and fooling around.

    That's what happens when you push younger kids too hard.

    So one of the other coaches looks at me and says "The girls! Get them playing a game!" and she went after the other coach that lost it. The third coach commented that she thought the girls were being horrible... I said "No, they're hot & tired and doing their best." She dropped it.

    So the girls finish their game (duck, duck, cheerleader) and got back into lines and the rest of the practice was fairly uneventful. But I called the coordinator today because she needed to know what happened.

    At least half the girls' moms told me tonight that their girls didn't want to come back because it's not fun anymore. I assured them that I would do everything in my very limited power to make things better. The coordinator came and ran practice tonight and the girls had fun. I've divided the girls into three sub-squads as of tonight so that those that need extra help get it and those that know the routine don't distract the others. I hope it works.

    So anyway... what the heck is the matter with people? These kids don't join to be made to feel horrible. It makes me very angry... and those adults won't like me when I'm angry. :devil:
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry. So many times the adults get caught up in "winning" and they forget that the kids are NOT there for a job.

    I hate it when adults make something that should be fun into a big chore.

    I wouldn't want to go back either. I hoep the coordinator can make things fun and get through to these women.

    Why can the girls not do a simple routine that is fun? Why all the emphasis on the complicated routines?
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    The coaches are making it about competition instead of just for fun. They need to be reminded that it should be about fun and the experience, not about winning a competition. If they win compettion than that's great, but it's about teamwork. Coaches who freak out are setting HORRIBLE examples for 7 and 8 year old girls. Sheesh!
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    difficult child was in competitive gymnastics when she was 6 & 7. She loved it and thrived. Until they brought in a coach that was used to coaching 13 year old kids.

    I and several other parents contacted the gym manager and she truly wanted to help us work this out, but it was too late. The damage had been done and difficult child didn't want to go back. It wasn't fun anymore. She was really good, too.

    I hope someone gets through to this coach. She needs to keep perspective.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    TM at this age it's all about fun. This coach stepped way out of bounds by losing it in front of the girls. (It may help to break the girls down into small squads).

    I don't know why it's your responsibility to make the other moms happy - did you start this?????:bigsmile::cheerleader::stopglass:
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks ladies. Linda. it's not officially my responsibility to make anyone happy. I'm supposed to add a layer of safety help with the paperwork, etc. BUT, most of those parents know me in some capacity and trust me with their children. I put a lot into it because the kids are so worth it and I won't let them down.

    The coordinator had a quick mini meeting at the end of practice to re-iterate that while I did the right thing in calling her, that she had also spoken to several parents that were unhappy as well. I also made "the good coach" talk to her because she's being railroaded by the one that lost it in front of the girls. She is now officially the head coach... with board support. Any problems go through the coordinator and are not to be discussed in front of the girls.

    Hopefully we will salvage this and have a great season.
  7. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    TM, how long do the practices last?

    Usually, it is a parent that goes off.

    I think you have a good idea in breaking them up into three groups. Thirty 6 & 7 year old girls, practicing together for a long length of time, is a tough gig. It has to be made fun. I coached 7 & 8 year old girls in soccer. Practices were always about having fun. All the drills were in the form of games and I never had a girl or parent complain of boredom. I also rotated field positions to allow everyone a chance to play every position. I can remember hearing a lot of complaints from parents from other teams that their child was stuck in one position all season, or that the coach's daughter always got to play a forward so they could score goals. I always focused on the girls working as team and giving a lot of praise for that.

    Daughter did cheerleading for three years when she was7, 8 & 9. When she was 7 she was on a squad through school and was coached by two parent volunteers supervised by the PE teacher. Things were pretty good, though a bit disorganized. I got into a bit of a confrontation when the squad was going to march in a local xmas parade. In the winter, where I live, it can be lovely and sunny, or cold and windy. It was very cold and windy that day. So, I had Daughter wear a long sleeved shirt, the same color as her uniform, underneath. One of the coaches had a fit! Then, she threatened not to allow Daughter to march with the squad because 'we won't win' because all the girls didn't match perfectly.

    I really felt sorry for all of the other girls. The coaches wouldn't allow them to wear jackets (there were no uniform jackets), even though THEY, THEMSELVES, WERE WEARING JACKETS! The girls were standing in formation, before they were to march, shivering and jumping around to raise their body heat. Daughter was cold, but had the extra layer and her arms were covered. She marched with everyone after I threatened to make a very big stink with the principal of the school. Another squad did end up winning and not because Daughter wore long sleeves because some of the members of the other squad were wearing jackets!:mad:
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm competitive by nature but stressing out children is not acceptable. The Moms very often are the ones who are trophy happy. An unnamed family member, lol, was not a popular teen. She had a beautiful daughter who started cheer at 5 or 6. Her team was often the top honors group in the State.

    By the end of middle school, the daughter was "sick of cheer" and wouldn't even try out for the high school squad.......the Mom's much dreamed about goal. It's ironic.

    If you ever watch that television show "Tiaras and ??" about beauty competitions for children you can't help but think "OMG, these adults are NUTS!" :sick: I saw it last week and it was in rural WV. The parents lived in single wides and spent like three grand for contest clothing for their five year old "who loves competing and winning trophies".

    I can't tolerate the demolition of childhood. Good Grief kids are not kids for very long. Let them play and have fun! So glad you were able to put some common sense back into play. Way To Go! DDD
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM, I am betting this coach is young 20s? Probably just out of the game herself and still bent on winning.

    It is a VERY difficult job to teach this age - and you know I am speaking from years of experience. That does not mean the coach can have a hissy fit if the girls are not getting it. It is their job to change up the routine to make it doable by all. That is the only way to make it look nice anyway. She obviously does not have enough patience to work with this age.

    I am glad to hear the Director remedied the situation promptly.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    How did Ducky handle this? I think they are very lucky to have you.
    N is in Gymnastics, the fun 5 yo old one. She has been in it for a year, she has proven she can follow through and do it.
    So when it becomes not any fun for her I will let her stop. I see so many parents in there, that are obsessed with there kids being perfect, they yell at their kids.
    it is pretty sad.

    I hope the coaches figure it out for kids sake and yours! LOL
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That hoovers. I cannot stand it when adults lose sight of what's really important for kids at this age and they get caught up in their own goals or egos.

    I hope things settle down and that the squad can move forward with less pressure and better perspective from the adults involved.

  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Onyxx was a cheerleader for a few years, but finally refused to do it anymore. BM put her in that, soccer and softball, and Jett into baseball and football, then had it added to the court order that husband had to enroll them.

    We aren't wasting the money on Onyxx's anymore - she doesn't want to do it, and we weren't thrilled when BM started it, so never mind. Jett is still in football - he is asked if he wants to first. Next year will be the last year we ask - then it becomes a school thing and he will have to show initiative (or not).

    The parents are the crazy ones in all this. Win, lose, I don't care. Try your best - I care. And it's a royal PITA to have to get everything ready, etc. etc., then sit out there bored silly till the game starts (or during practice - YAWN - I don't like football unless Jett's playing). Plus paying for it all, spirit stuff, working concessions... but, for the kids, husband and I do it.

    I refuse to get into the politics...
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hoping the rest of the season will be much more positive!!
  14. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks everyone. Tonight went much better. I woke up early this morning and worked out a practice schedule so that each group could get some focused time on each component: football chants, competition cheer & competition dance. Each coach took one component and we moved the girls between the coaches. It worked well. We ended the night by having the girls go into a large circle and each got to showcase something special: a cartwheel, back bend, split, etc. The coaches pulled girls a few at a time during this to finally get them working on their mount groups. All in all I'm pleased with the results.